The short answer is yes. In the state of Texas, marijuana is still an illegal drug. That means the law handles it the same as any other illegal substance. Pot being illegal isn’t the only reason using it will impact your divorce.
As more states join the movement of legalizing marijuana, it may leave you wondering if smoking pot will have an impact on your divorce. If you’re headed for divorce or are already going through it, you need to know how the courts handle drug use and why.
How will smoking pot affect my divorce?
With marijuana use and divorce, the concern is not so much that a pot smoker has developed an addiction, although marijuana is known to be a gateway drug. It’s more about issues that have to be resolved in most cases: child custody and visitation, child support, and/or property.
Child custody and drug use
The concern is with the side effects and reactions from smoking pot. Things like impaired judgement and slow reflexes can hinder your ability to take care of your children. You may not be thinking clearly or taking action quickly enough if an emergency happens. You could be arrested for driving while under the influence. And there’s the risk of exposing your children to drugs. Smoking around the children or even leaving marijuana around is dangerous. Those issues put the party that doesn’t smoke pot at a considerable advantage in a custody battle.
Money and property with drug use and divorce
Property and finances can become an issue with smoking pot and divorce if the drug use affects household funds. If you were using community property to feed your marijuana habit, that may become part of the divorce proceedings, allowing the non-using spouse to claim that you have been “wasting” community assets. The suggestion is to leave joint assets alone until the divorce is final and the judge has decided how to divide them.
What happens if either party alleges drug use?
The judge will order a drug test for one or both parties. Most likely it will happen on the spot during that same court session. That way no one has a chance to miss showing up at the test facility and delaying the test. You can’t be dishonest about drug use and won’t have a chance to “get it out of your system”. The test goes back 90 days and can include head hair follicles, other body hair or nails.
How can I help my divorce case if I smoke pot?
The most important action you should take is to stop using. If smoking marijuana has become a habit, get help. There are 12–step programs available for all types of addictions. Something that’s just as important is to be honest with the court about your drug use. Think about what’s best for your children in this situation. The judge will try to help you while deciding what’s in the kids’ best interest at that time. Which may mean that you have limited or supervised access to your children until you are clean.
For More Information About Divorce, Contact an Experienced Dallas Family Law Attorney.
To schedule a free initial consultation with a Dallas Family Law Attorney, contact Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices at 214-420-1800.